Max Rohde's Reviews > Eternal Dharma

Eternal Dharma by Vishnu Swami
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it was ok
bookshelves: non-fiction
Read 2 times. Last read July 28, 2019.

I think it shines through the pages of this book that the author is wise, enlightened and brings a lot of goodness into this world. There are many deep and sensible thoughts in the book, for instance that there is beauty in every religion and culture. However, there are also many ideas in the book that I think are presented as fact which are questionable at best. For instance, a large part of the discussion is about an 'elemental system' which maps phenomena of the world and mind onto the elements of: earth, fire, wind, ether, soul and spirit. According to the author, this elemental system has been proven many times through its application in various eastern practices, such as Ayurvedic medicine, Chinese martial arts and Yoga. I think it might present an interesting lens to think about our world, but I don't think it can be considered proven fact that our world is organised in this way.

Another central idea of the book is that every being and thing has a Dharma; its live purpose. Such as that water has the Dharma to flow. I think that is a very weird way of thinking about reality. Things are just what they are. There is no evidence that they are imbued with purpose - with the exception of human created artefacts; such as a car is for driving. One example that particularly annoyed me was that since waters natural Dharma is to flow, it is unnatural for water to be frozen. I couldn't disagree more. Water just happens not to be frozen during most times in most temperature zones on earth. I think it would be safe to assume that most water in the universe is indeed frozen, and I wonder why this should not be considered its natural state, if we need to identify such at all.

I liked the discussions regarding a creating force, and that we should not give it human attributes. However, later in the book it is described that the fundamental force of the universe is broken up into the male and the female, Krishna and Radha. I do not know what the ultimate constituting forces of the universe are, but I doubt that they are related in any way to the human gender.

I think in spiritual matters it is very important to make unfounded assumptions only to the most minimal degree possible. Given our current knowledge, we are not able to arrive at an explanation for our existence which provides us with purpose for our lives without making assumptions. However, as said, these should be as minimal as possible and, most importantly, not contradict our current scientific knowledge.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
Started Reading
July 28, 2019 – Finished Reading
August 2, 2019 – Shelved
August 2, 2019 – Shelved as: non-fiction

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